The Aqua Allegoria line of Guerlain is more (but unfortunately sometimes less) than a collection of starter scents. Intended for summer wear, Aqua Allegoria features light and sprightly perfumes, some are in the permanent line, some fade out after a season, depending on their market performance, I surmise. Two are released each spring, one in general distribution and one only at duty free stores.
This year’s widely launched Aqua Allegoria fragrance is called Lys Soleia and is a warm and creamy lily/ylang/vanilla scent of the beachy skin-scent variety. The second Aqua Allegoria of 2012 is Bouquet de Mai, a fresh floral that I smelled at the duty free store, it is the kind of perfume my husband loves, a clean, fresh white floral with a musky drydown.
I want to take this opportunity to take a peek at my favorite of the line as well, one of the original launches from 1999, the sparkly citrus scent Pamplelune.
Pamplelune was created by Mathilde Laurent and includes notes of grapefruit, bergamot, blackcurrant, petitgrain, patchouli and vanilla.
Pamplelune is no doubt the most famous of the Aqua Allegorias and rightly so. It is a wonderful grapefruit scent, probably the best in its category. Even though Vanessa of Bonkers about Perfume says “To put grapefruit in a perfume, one has to be a bit deluded”, I think it was a very good idea of Mathilde Laurent to do so.
Pamplelune is a bit controversial since many people smell the unfortunate stench of cat pee or body odour in it, but thankfully, although I was frightened off the perfume for a while because of these accounts, I am now happily reunited with it. I have worn it every summer for years since it came out and I’m glad that my broadened horizon and expanded perfume knowledge didn’t change that.
Pamplelune opens impossible sparkly and fresh, very true to life and stays like that for a long time. It dries down to a nice green-earthy vanilla.
Lys Soleia was created by Thierry Wasser and includes notes of bergamot, lemon, palm leaves, ylang-ylang, lily, tropical fruit, tuberose, vanilla and white musk.
The predominant notes in Lys Soleia to my nose are lily and tuberose on vanilla. Very warm, very diffusive, with a whiff of sea breeze, tuberose, lily and ylang are conspiring to make Lys Soleia distinctive, memorable and give it volume. The white florals neatly segue into a sumptuous, creamy, almost gourmand base, worthy of a Guerlain.
Lys Soleia smells like a mix of florist’s shop (standing right beside the lilies) and sunscreen on the warm skin of a person having dessert.
It is sweet, but keeps a good balance. It can be overpowering if applied too lavishly, especially in the heat and confined spaces I can imagine it triggering a headache in someone susceptible to it.
Generally I like the line, and while the florals are often a bit generic, insipid and unremarkable, those two in particular are stand-outs and very much worth your time and money.
They are coming on vacation with me this summer, that is for sure.